The resonance from last night's emergence of a leaked draft document pointing to an overturn of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade continued today with President Joe Biden warning that such an action could lead to further overturns of civil liberties.
What Happened: According to combined media reports, Biden told reporters on Tuesday morning that a "whole range of rights" would be in the judicial crosshairs if Roe v. Wade was reversed, including same-sex marriage and access to birth control.
"Every other decision based on the notion of privacy is thrown into question," he stated.
The overturn for Roe v. Wade would send the question of abortion access back to the states, where some have so-called “trigger laws” ready to be enacted in the event of Roe v. Wade being reversed.
"It's really quite a radical decision," he said. "The idea that we're letting the states make those decisions, localities make those decisions, would be a fundamental shift in what we've done. So, it goes far beyond, in my view ... the concern of whether or not there is the right to choose. It goes to other basic rights — the right to marriage, the right to determine a whole range of things. It's a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence."
Earlier in the day, the White House issued a statement from Biden calling on Congress to codify abortion rights. Biden also called on voters to elect lawmakers that were supportive of the 1973 ruling.
However, Biden would not commit to changing rules in the U.S. Senate that would eliminate the filibuster, which could be used to block any debate on the matter.
What Else Happened: Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a statement from Chief Justice John Roberts that confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft document and condemned the unprecedented act of putting a draft document into public view while a ruling had yet to be finalized.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said. "The work of the Court will not be affected in any way. We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce — permanent employees and law clerks alike — intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court.
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” Roberts added. “I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
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